Terrorism in South Asia [March 8, 2004]   [open pdf - 285KB]

"This report reviews the terrorist environment in South Asia. With U.S.-led counterterrorism efforts focused especially on Southwest Asia, the existence of international terrorist groups and their supporters in South Asia is identified as a threat to both regional stability and to the attainment of central U.S. policy goals. Al Qaeda forces that fled from Afghanistan with their Taliban supporters remain active on Pakistani territory, and Al Qaeda is believed to have links with indigenous Pakistani terrorist groups that have conducted anti-Western attacks and that support separatist militancy in Indian Kashmir. A significant portion of Pakistan's ethnic Pashtun population is reported to sympathize with the Taliban and even Al Qaeda. The United States maintains close counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan aimed especially at bolstering security and stability in neighboring Afghanistan. In the latter half of 2003, the Islamabad government began limited military operations in the traditionally autonomous tribal areas of western Pakistan. There are indications that such operations are intensifying in coordination with U.S. and Afghan forces just across the international frontier. The relationships between Al Qaeda, the Taliban, indigenous Pakistani terrorist groups, and some elements of Pakistan's political-military structure are complex and murky, but may represent a serious threat to the attainment of key U.S. policy goals. A pair of December 2003 attempts to assassinate Pakistan's President Musharraf reportedly were linked to both Al Qaeda and a Pakistan-based terrorist group. There also are indications that elements of Pakistan's intelligence service and Pakistani Islamist political parties may have provided assistance to U.S.-designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations. It is thought that some Al Qaeda elements fled to Bangladesh." -- Abstract

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL32259
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Via E-mail
Media Type:
Help with citations